The US Chargé d’Affaires for Afghanistan, Karen Decker, has accused the Kandahari Taliban of “denying the whole country food and future” with their decision to ban education and work for Afghan women and girls. “We have no choice but to respond”, she warned.
“By cutting women out of humanitarian service and shutting girls out of schools, men in Kandahar are denying the whole country food and a future,” she tweeted on Saturday.
Pointing to the recently-imposed US visa restrictions against the Taliban leaders and members involved in oppressing women and girls, Decker said “the restrictions have nothing to do with banking and everything to do with banning females from schools and NGOs.”
The Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs described Washington’s decision as “an obstacle to the development of ties between the two sides,” adding that “applying pressure will not work.”
Shortly after returning to power in August 2021, the Taliban banned girls from secondary schools, and in December last year, it ordered a ban on women from universities, which the group defended as necessary to prevent the mixing of genders.
Despite international condemnations, the Taliban leadership have refused to change course on restrictions on women and girls.